Category Archives: House

Brownie Walnut Cookies & Other things!

Time for a new recipe… made these last night and they are pretty good according to Darren’s workmates!

Brownie Walnut Cookie

Brownie Walnut Cookies

Recipe taken from

Notes:  Make sure you allow enough time for this recipe as you need to chill this for 3-4 hours.  Unlike myself who started this recipe at 8pm last night!  It’s amazing how well a freezer does!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnut pieces or halves
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for coating


  1. In the top of a double boiler, melt together the butter and chocolate over very low heat. Remove the inner pan and allow the mixture to partially cool, then stir it until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer at high speed until light and airy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Blend in the vanilla extract and partially cooled chocolate. Chop the walnuts very fine (a food processor works well for this) and stir them into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture half at a time, until the dough is evenly mixed – it will be quite soft. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 large cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. Put about 1 cup of Confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Now shape the dough into 1-1/2-inch-thick balls. Generously coat each one with confectioners’ sugar and place it on a baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Bake the cookies on the center rack, 1 sheet at a time, for about 13 minutes. When done, the cookies will have puffed and will feel very soft to the touch. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool the cookies on the sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool thoroughly. TIP: To lengthen the shelf life of these cookies, refrigerate them for 1 to 2 hours, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Makes 24 to 30 cookies.

OK….on to other things!

Jen asked in a previous post to show the canvas’ on the green wall in our dining area.  These canvas’ are from snapfish and we are so happy with them.  Tania Tanti photography did the photos…these photos are 2009, except for Emma which was taken March this year at playgroup.

Dining room canvas'

and these ones are 2010 and I only received this morning.  I love them!

Kitchen canvas'


Curtains … finally!


I’ve been putting it off and putting it off for so long, but I finally got a nudge along (thanks Tania!) to get my butt into gear and make the curtains for the dining/family room.  I’d been putting off for so long as it is such a big window and I would need so much material that I was a tad daunted…plus the fact that making curtains previously had not worked out exactly the way I planned!  6 of the curtains made were a tad short for the windows….it’s what happens when not getting correct measurements and only working from the plan, Oops!  But anyway I digress, the curtains are now made and hanging and even hemmed!  I’m pleased how they have come up and they really set the room off, now just have to make a pelmet for the other window and it’s finished!  A photo….(of course!)

Dining room curtains

Now to get organised and do the pelmets for the kids rooms and the ties for all the curtains!   Busy, busy, busy.

Mmmm, Meatloaf!


Gotta love comfort food!  Tea tonight was good old fashioned Meatloaf (with onion gravy for the adults), mash potatoes and peas.  Yum, went down a treat!

Serves 4….with leftovers for sangas!

500g beef mince
1 egg
handful of dried breadcrumbs
1 carrot grated
1 onion finely diced
2 large squirts of Smokey BBQ sauce
large handful of grated cheese
1 teaspoon italian herbs…or parsley if that’s all you have!

Mix all together  and shape into a log onto a baking tray (best put some greaseproof paper down, unlike I did and have a mess to clean up!) Brush top with more BBQ sauce and pop into a 180C oven for approx 45min to 1 hr.

Eat…yum!  Everyone ate it and enjoyed it even Emma!

Today we finally got around to getting the driveway done.  We decided to just go with a plain coloured concrete to accent the house instead of the exposed aggregate.  We felt that it would compete to much with the house and the decking plus it was cheaper and that’s always a good thing!  It will be sealed on Wednesday and then we have to wait until next Monday before we can drive on it.  It’s looking good.

Wet, but finished driveway.

The best laid plans…


Well we haven’t got our decking finished yet!  Darren and FIL went down to Mitre 10 to get the rest of the decking and they don’t have the lengths we need to do it, so off to Bunnings and they have to specially order it in!   SOOOO…we finished what we could today and we will order the timber in and hopefully finish it next weekend!  In the mean time we are getting the driveway laid starting tomorrow…it’s all coming together slowly but surely!

Path to mailbox.

To other news today, Auskick started.  Dad and son or Coach and player went off this morning leaving me to finish off some of the decking!  (Was good fun actually not counting getting blown away by the wind!)  Cayden’s friend also joined him so he was pretty chuffed about that…and the fact that he gets Dad as his coach this year!

Coach and player!

Cayden ready for Auskick

Man Cayden looks grown up in this photo!

And the boards start to go down!


Yes, we are getting it together!  We have started to put the boards down on the pathway leading up to the house.  It’s looking so good…see for yourself!

Pathway boards going down

Tomorrow we hope to finish the rest of the decking and then we are getting our driveway started and complete by Wednesday.  Woohoo it’s all coming together.  Next will be the garden…the fun part.

Decking going in.


This weekend we have started to get our front deck organised.  We are decking the front porch and making a pathway to the mailbox all decked.  The pathway is going to be raised and our front garden is going to be a native garden themed around a dry creek bed.  So under the raised path I will be growing different ground covers that will spill over the path.  It’s all very exciting.  The holes are dug, the framework for the porch is almost finished.  Tomorrow we (meaning Darren and his Dad!) are finishing the framework and cementing the posts in as well as doing to framework for the path.

The kids are having a ball, playing outside and making up games!

Driving, Cayden, Emma and Lucy!

Digging the holes ... go go Darren!

The frame for the front porch...almost done.

It’s going to look so good!